“My mother taught me everything, except how to live without her. I was a few days old when my father died in a road accident. My mother worked as cleaner in a hospital to raise me up. I remember every day, and every moment that I spent with my mother. We were poor. But she never let poverty or the absence of my father cause me pain. I have grown up seeing her never resting, always sacrificing, and never giving up. At times, my mother would give me all the food and not have anything. She would say she is having a headache and had no appetite for food. I was too young to understand that she was hungry too. The day she took her last breath was the day my world turned dark. She died of a prolonged illness, which she never let me know. Our last goodbye was never said. A thousand prayers can’t bring her back, because I have prayed. And neither would a million tears; I know because I have cried. But a part of me will always be waiting for my mother.” Lakshmi (named changed) has been brought to Smile Foundation’s residential centre in Hyderabad, Telangana where she receives education, care, counselling and lots of love and care.
Smile Foundation as an NGO in India has so far directly put more than 250,000 children like Lakshmi into the path of empowerment through education through its Mission Education programme.
There are over 24 million children* (UN Data) globally are at the risk of dropping out of school. Last year, 55% of the total beneficiaries of Mission Education programme were girls.
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